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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Nov 30, 2010 7:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: billy k.

Great post, Jim, I really enjoyed reading it in spite of the fact that I disagree with almost everything you said! Which really is a compliment, actually.

I think Billy is hands down the better drummer. He and Mickey had slightly different roles, or at least that's what other people have said; Billy seems to be more of the backbone in terms of keeping the beat, while Mickey likes to adorn the music with percussive "touches". But none of their (pardon my language) bullshit 20 minute drum duets from the 80s even comes close to a 4- or 5- minute lead in to an Other One from 1972. There's just no comparison. Billy's playing was tight and had serious bones, but I find lots of the later drum duets incredibly boring. Of course I think that has something to do with length, but come on, 20 minutes?!?!?! Give me a break.

I know you weren't saying anything about Billy vs. Mickey per se, but rather you liked both of them better than just Billy. But I've always pined for the possibility of Billy remaining their only drummer. I think the music would have blossomed more fully, and the band might have remained a lot tighter instead of dwindling into eventual lameness.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Dec 3, 2010 9:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: billy k.

Well thank ya. But you are slightly misunderstanding me, kinda. My favorite era of GD is probably Billy by himself (I say "probably" because who doesn't love the 60's? But that tandem drumming I find is much different than what came post-hiatus). I wouldn't say that I like the two together more than just Billy, as my primary listening goes to 71-74. When it comes to drum solos, I like the two together better than just Billy. But in general, I much prefer the Billy solo years.

I agree that imo, Billy is the better drummer. I like post-74 hiatus GD, but Billy was a true beast from 71-74, and I understand those who feel that something was actually lost rather than gained when Mickey came back. Though I think their devolution into "lameness" would have happened with or without Mickey. I'm obviously not an 80's and 90's guy... I guess what I was saying is that the kindof improv I like is rarely found in the later years, or rather is only found in the drums>space segment.

I was a bit harsh about Billy's solos just getting in the way of a good Other One. you're right, there is nothing like when Billy starts pounding out that unmistakable beat, then Phil joining in and that *CHARGE* into the Other One. Though you could also say good things about Other One drum intros like 1/22/78.

This post was modified by Jim F on 2010-12-04 05:53:46

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Dec 4, 2010 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: billy k.

People have been saying good things about 1/22/78 lately, and I've never listened to it because I generally don't like that year, but I clearly need to check it out.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Dec 5, 2010 12:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: billy k.

Oh man, it's definitely worth checking out! Every show from January is quite unique for a year full of predictable and repetitive setlists, and each have something to offer. I could list the highlights, but it'd just be my subjective opinion (DEFINITELY check out the Let it Grow from...damn, I forget, I think it's 1/11? Yeah, that sounds right...maybe it's 1/14...either way, it's probably my favorite post-74 LIGrow).

1/22 is clearly the top of the tour. The Other One through to the end of the show is delicious and fantastic. And of course there's that Close Encounters jam...I haven't been diving into 77 in a looooong time, and 78 even moreso (or would that be "less so?"), but if I'm going to reach for a '78, odds are 90% of the time it's going to be a show from January, probably 1/22.

And to stress my point even more, I'm honestly not even that big a 1978 fan (don't get me wrong, there are a lot of highlights that year, but it's just not a year I visit too often). While I like a lot of stuff from 78-81, 78 is usually my cutoff (I like to quote David Lemiuex I think it was who said "After 2/5/78, it's all fluff."). But I can get into any of those January jams any time.